I wrote about the importance of reading like a writer a few months ago, but today I want to suggest that over the next week or two, you should just read because you love it. Read because it feeds your soul and reminds you why you write. Read because you’ve been reading since you were five or six years old and few things connect you to who you really, truly are than a good book. Read not because you want to learn how Elizabeth George handles shifts in POV (masterfully), how Laura Lippman writes the modern noir in Sunburn, or how Ken Follett makes building a cathedral fascinating—although it’s perfectly fine to notice those things, and even to make a few notes for your own WIP. Read to get lost in a book, to forget what time of day it is or where you are. Read to meet new people, eat new food, explore a new community, and find out what happens, as my friend Barbara Ross says in her “cozy covenant.”
I promise, if you take a little extra time during this holiday season to read for pure joy, you’ll return to the WIP invigorated and inspired.
Thank you for reminding us the whole reason we would chose to write. It is personal and, the upmost reason should be, you want other to feel the way you feel when you write. To enter a different frame of mind, go to a new place, meet new people. This is the reason I read so I will want to give that same reasoning to others to enjoy, as I have, the wonder of a book!
Thank you, again, Leslie for your articles throughout the year. I truly enjoy them. I am taking the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s to unplug, refresh, and plan what direction I truly want to pave my new path in future adventures. I wish and your family a magical Christmas with a spectacular New Year!
Thank you for the kind words, Cheryl. What a wonderful plan, to take a week and refill the well. I’m hoping to do much the same. All the best to you and yours in this strange holiday season.
What a wonderful post, Leslie. I not only love your books for your talented writing, but because they transport me right back to Bigfork, Kalispell, Whitefish, the lodges, and all the wonderful times I had there when visiting my brother (who works as a surgeon at the IHS hospital on the Blackfeet Reservation). I had to skip a visit to East Glacier this year due to this CRAZINESS, so your books have been not only a joy to read, but a source of solace and comfort. Reading for me is an adventure and an escape from the everyday and yes, just for the joy of it. I worked in the Youth Services Department of a local library and watching the kiddos learn to love to read was one of my favorite parts of the job. Sharing that love and excitement of discovering a wonderful book was the other.
Thank you for being you and doing that for me. And yes, when it comes to your writing, “If it’s made in Montana, it must be good!”
Oh, gosh, Julie, thank you for such a sweet note. And you’ve beautifully captured what reading does for us. What a joy it must have been to work with the little ones — library staff are heroes to me!